Grover Norquist, president of the conservative group Americans for Tax Reform, once stated, "I don't want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub." Libertarians, Tea Partiers, Republicans–all those who yearn for a privatized society in which government has as small as role as possible should consider the case of Gene Cranick, whose home in Obion County, Tennessee, burned to the ground as firefighters watched. Why? He didn't pay an annual $75 fee for fire protection:
The homeowner, Gene Cranick, said he offered to pay whatever it would take for firefighters to put out the flames, but was told it was too late. They wouldn't do anything to stop his house from burning.
Each year, Obion County residents must pay $75 if they want fire protection from the city of South Fulton. But the Cranicks did not pay.
The mayor said if homeowners don't pay, they're out of luck.
This fire went on for hours because garden hoses just wouldn't put it out. It wasn't until that fire spread to a neighbor's property, that anyone would respond.
...the mayor of South Fulton [was asked] if the chief could have made an exception.
"Anybody that's not in the city of South Fulton, it's a service we offer, either they accept it or they don't," Mayor David Crocker said.
Mayor Crocker is a Republican, as is every member of the county commission. Watch this local report:
Think Progress perfectly summed up this travesty of privatized, subscription-based firefighting:
...there are currently two competing visions of governance in the United States. One, the conservative vision, believes in the on-your-own society, and informs a policy agenda that primarily serves the well off and privileged sectors of the country. The other vision, the progressive one, believes in an American Dream that works for all people, regardless of their racial, religious, or economic background.
The conservative vision was on full display last week in Obion County, Tennessee.